Johnny A. Plays Boulton with Duke Robillard April 3

A former studio and touring guitarist for Peter Wolf, Johnny A. never took a guitar lesson. The Boston-based musician grew up playing the drums—until the British invasion occurred, and hearing the melodies of bands like the Beatles, the Stones and the Animals inspired him to pick up a guitar. He soon realized he had a natural ability for the guitar and, aside from co-producing Wolf’s acclaimed solo LP Long Line, Johnny self-produced his two studio records and, due to overwhelming requests from his fans, a new live CD/DVD set called One November Night.

A.’s latest CD contains uplifting bluesy rock originals like “I Had to Laugh” and “Ignorance is Bliss,” along with the galloping “Two Wheel Horse,” and a melancholic rendition of “Wichita Lineman.” One November Night, which was recorded live at Scullers Jazz Club, also includes two previously unrecorded covers, The Beatles “The Night Before” and Chuck Berry’s “Memphis, Tennessee.” When listening to this impressive live compilation, you almost forget there aren’t any vocals. Johnny “uses the guitar as [his] voice,” allowing him to express everything from ecstatic joy to sadness, and all the gray areas in between.

So, if you’re looking for something to do this Easter weekend, check out Johnny A. at the Boulton Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, April 3rd, along with blues great Duke Robillard. In a live setting, you’ll find out why Gibson named a guitar after the talented six-stringer, who was influenced by the likes of Les Paul, Jeff Beck, Chet Atkins and Jimi Hendrix. It’s time to rock in the spring!

lisa heffernan

Lisa Heffernan received a master’s in Communications from Emerson College before moving to New York. She has worked for publications such as: Details, Nylon, Rolling Stone, Time Out, Newport Mercury, American Songwriter and W magazine.